Present Progressive/Present Continuous

February 27, 2014 § 2 Comments

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“The words you choose, the abstract nouns, or ideas, and the verbs, those shape what you are trying to say. Your words become your sentences, which become your paragraphs, which become your essay. Get the words right first and you will say what you want to say: the abstract nouns and the verbs are what counts.” I tell this to my composition class, but as always, I am really telling myself, in my lifetime of composition, of making a life from words.

Tomorrow, future tense, is the anniversary of my Mother’s death. I’m looking at it in the past tense, and the distance helps. Still, I wish she’d died on the 29th, so I only had to feel this once every four years. She was so close to that miracle of numbers, that lunacy of a solar calendar, but like everything else in her life, so far.  I think about the present progressive, as I learned it, now called the present continuous. It’s ongoing, in the moment, the most forgiving tense. You’re still trying. The problem is, you can’t see the end of it; the beauty is, you can’t judge it yet. There is no end. I am going, I am living, I am thinking, I am feeling, but nothing is finished yet. Nothing is gotten over. She is present. It is happening now, or every day, depending on your interpretation.

I have an idea what you’re thinking: isn’t three years enough? But I am thinking, I am remembering, I am in the middle of life and this state and I am ever present.

On the upside, my mom is continuing. She is the subject, here and ongoing, for me and anyone else in her sentence, her paragraph, her story.  I am not focusing on the past. I am going, each day. I am remembering, I am still loving, I am continuing, and maybe progressing.

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